McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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New season, new coach

Senior girls soccer players finish their last season with their new coach leading them down the field
Senior Elena Carlos passes the ball during a varsity girls soccer team at McCracken Field on April 23 against Burlington Central.

Running up and down the fields, passing the ball back and forth from your teammates. Suddenly your teammate attempts the winning goal of the game. Silence went down on the crowd as everyone watched the ball pass the goalie into the net. The soccer team all celebrate with their new coach, you take a minute to look at the stands and see your old coach, whom you have shared memories with, cheer you on still.

MCHS’s girls soccer team gained a new coach this season. Though they were all excited at the start of the season, the seniors are having an absence feeling without their old coach helping them finish their senior year. Many seniors grew an amazing connection with their old coach.

“Like, in the beginning it was new,” said senior Elena Carlos. “He was definitely really scary. But then over the years, he really showed his soft side and he showed his true personality and I just saw who he was like as a person and not just as a coach. So then the relationship was built especially because we were together for like, three years, right?”

The senior girls are not the only ones reminiscing in the memories, as Andrew Stegenga, the old girls varsity coach, talks about his favorite memories that he’s made over seven years of coaching.

“I have a lot of great memories from coaching,” said Stengena. “My favorite memories revolve around girls hitting milestones, whether it was Kenzie Sroka scoring her first goal, Kylie Parisi scoring her first goal back from injury last year, Makenna making an amazing save against Barrington, Maya Gill stepping up and being a leader on the field as an underclassman, Addie Michelau shutting down senior players as a freshman, Elena Carlos breaking ankles on the field, Jasmine Ortiz hitting a 30 yard goal against Richmond, etc… The one memory that tied it all together was getting to see the girls hold up a regional trophy last year and celebrate something that they accomplished together.”

Even though change can be scary, these senior girls are excited to see how their new coach, Danielle Harloff, is going to change the MCHS soccer program.
“I’m excited to see what she could do for us,” said Jasmine Ortiz. “Just seeing how her changes will come into perspective for us and how it will work for our team.”
Carlos also mentioned how the soccer team is now reaching out to the community more with Harloff’s help.

“We were so separated between JV and varsity and she’s been so good at like, combining the two and actually making a program,” said Carlos. “I’ve always been jealous of the other sports because they had summer camps. They had little kid camps. They worked with little kids, and that’s why we don’t have a lot of soccer players. It’s because we don’t really interact with the younger generations. And it’s kind of nice to see that we’re finally doing something to grow the soccer program.”

Even though Stegenga is not coaching, he still supports his girls.

“Getting to go and watch the girls this year with my 2 boys was an awesome experience.” Stegenga said “I am excited to get to watch them compete this year and am excited to watch them continue to grow with their new coach!”Stegenga said.

The girls shared some of their favorite memories with their old coach. No matter the weather, Stegenga made some fun practices.

“We did diving headers,” said Carlos. “It was raining during the practice and it was really muddy and he turned like, we can practice into it. Let’s do something fun. So we decided to slide in the mud and practice our headers.”

The seniors worked hard and got to share an amazing achievement with Stegenga.

“My favorite memory with him was probably either winning a regional championship with him or when he would bring his son to practice and we would all play with him and then go to team breakfast at Buddyz,” said junior Makenna Harvey.

Stegenga stopped coaching after seven years for family, but is unsure what the future will hold.

“Who knows if I will get back into coaching when my kids get older,” said Stegenga. “It was an awesome experience, it was always challenging and always allowed me to learn through failure to try and better myself individually and as a coach.”

We are all very excited to see how the new coach, Harloff, is going to leave her mark in the athletic world.

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